Finding information about companies -- especially small, local companies -- can be difficult. There is no, one source that can answer every question. Instead, it will require the use of both Internet sources and library databases. The steps on this page can help you get started with your research by suggesting some basic databases you can use to located information about your company/business and its business environment. You can then use the resources on the following pages to continue your research.
If you have any questions, contact your librarian. My information is in the left-hand column. Also, I've included a link to an online book that provides suggestions for doing local business research.
Let's get started.
The NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) Code is used by the U.S. Government to gather and disseminate information about industries. There are a couple different ways to find a NAICS code.
If you already know a company you are researching, look them up in one of the library's company directories. The NAICS code will be provided in a company details section or an industry details section.
Try these directories to get started:
Use one of the public available search sites to search by industry, such as 'pet stores'.
Both Mergent Intellect and Nexis Uni can provide more information about the company and the industry. Try looking through the tabs across the top (Mergent) or on the side (Nexis) to see what other information may be available.
You can use one of the library's marketing databases (and the NAICS code) to find comprehensive information about an industry. Here are some suggestions:
Use these tools to find information about your company and the local business environment in local news sources.
Use the library's databases to look up articles and industry news in trade publications. Whether it's Ratchet+Wrench for auto repair or Supermarket News for grocery stores, these publications can help you collect current information about the state of the business. Use the NAICS code you found in Step 1 to limit by industry.